Not sure if you want a band or DJ?

Planning a wedding reception comes with a lot of decisions such as where to host it, who will cater, and how One of the biggest decisions that face is whether you want a band or a DJ to perform at your reception. Your wedding reception is not just about the music, but it definitely does play a big role in setting the tone. This can be a difficult decision to make, and many couples have trouble seeing eye-to-eye on what they want. Before you decide, here are some factors to keep in mind. 


A band comes in all different shapes and sizes and can be chosen to fit the theme of your wedding. Choose a band that plays the genre(s) of music you and your spouse-to-be like to listen or dance to. There are bands for all types of music, from pop to country to jazz to 70s, swing and many more. 

If you or your partner feel like you’re missing out by not having a DJ play today’s top hits, ask your band if you can request some current chart toppers for their setlist. Bands may be in the process of picking new songs to learn and might be willing to accommodate. Be sure to ask these questiosn Make note, bands often play recorded music during their breaks so ask if a band can queue up a certain playlist for you.

Choose a band who has an outgoing member or members who can lead your crowd. Your band may be acting as your MC, announcing your first dance, your cake cutting, or any special events during the reception, so be sure to ask questions about how they handle those events during your interview with them. 

southern weddings music emerald empire band
Southern weddings music Emerald Empire Band



While DJs are associated with being loud and bumping the latest hits, not all DJs are alike. Find a DJ who specializes in the music that you want to play. DJs can make reception music customizable because they have access to tons of music on their computer and can take requests. This can come in handy if Uncle Joe and Cousin Sue like to tear up the dance floor and want to hear their favorite songs. Similar to a band, talk to your DJ to get a feeling for their personality in the event that they will be your MC. Ask if they have any video footage of their performance at a wedding or event to get a feel for how they keep the crowd moving.

New Orleans wedding band
New Orleans wedding band


What do you do if your partner wants one and you want the other? Compromise. The band versus DJ debate is just one of a million compromises you will need to make throughout your marriage. This compromise could come in many forms. You could opt for a band at the ceremony to perform live music and  DJ for the reception or consider a band for cocktail hour and dinner and DJ for dancing and after hours fun. If you and your partner are having  conflicting views on another key wedding planning item such as food or linens, come to an agreement that one person can choose the music and the other person can choose another decision. 

Not sure what you want at all? First decide what type of mood you want to set for your reception and who your audience is. If you want a laid back, relaxing vibe for your wedding, opt for a band that is less booming drums and bass and more calming like guitar and piano based. If you and your guests are a bunch of dancing queens, go for a DJ who can mix it up and please you and as many guests as possible. Remember, your wedding is about you as a couple, but you want your guests to have fun too.


Looking for entertainment for your reception? Find an equality-minded vendor through our Preferred Vendor Directory.